Not Driving Drunk

It was a night of good decisions in the Morris household.

My 18 year old son Justin and a couple of his friends decided at the last minute that they really were gonna go to prom. So they got dressed up in their fancy duds, figured out how they were getting there, posed for the obligatory picture, and off they went.

Earlier in the day, Justin had gotten my standard "dad speech" that he's been hearing with an increasing degree of frequency lately ...

Don't get in any of your friend's cars if they've been drinking. Call me, I'll come get you, blah, blah, blah, more useless dad advice, etc,..

So at about 2:45am, I get a phone call from Justin telling me that his friend who drove might have had a few beers, and wouldn't listen to them when they said he shouldn't drive. So Justin and one of his other friends, were at McDonalds by the school, and could I please come pick them up?

Holy Crap! .. the boy actually does listen to me from time to time ;-)

I tell him "no problem, let me throw on some clothes and I'll be on my way".

As I'm downstairs looking for my wallet and keys, I suddenly realized that I myself, had consumed about 4-5 beers while sitting out front with the neighbors, after Joey's big 1st birthday bash. I started to do the math in my head ... it's been 4 hours since I stopped drinking, and I drank 5 beers in about an hour and half .. what's that formula again? ... oh heck, it's only a couple of miles up the road, I'll probably make it with no problem.

Then, fortunately, I recalled another one of my "speeches" ... this one normally given to Airmen who work for me:

I've been in the military for over 20 years now. During that time I've known a few people who have been caught for DUI. I've yet to meet a single one who told me that they knew they were hammered and decided to drive anyway. Nope, every single one of them told some version of the following two sentences:

  1. I only had a few drinks

  2. I felt like I was OK to drive

Every single one of them ...

It was then my turn to emulate my son, and make a good decision. Instead of going out to my car, I hung up my keys, put down my wallet and fired up the computer so that I could google the number for Cove Taxi.

About 20 minutes later, Justin and his friend were home ... alive and safe.

I was out $16.38 after I paid their fare.

But man, I gotta tell ya, that's one of the best investments I've made in a long time. 8-)


p.s. the other friend, made it through the gate, and home safely as well ... but he was just lucky, Not smart.


  1. I came across your blog through danoah. I work for MADD in Memphis, TN. I am so grateful for parents like you. So, so grateful. Would you mind if I reposted this article on our local Facebook page?

    Also for more resources on talking to your teens about alcohol visit and look for "Power of Parents, it's your influence". Your a great influence :)

  2. Hi Kate,

    Yes, if you think my story would be helpful, please feel free to repost it. With a couple of teenagers, two of whom are driving age, this is definitely a subject that I think about more often than I really wish I had to. Thank you for the link .. I appreciate it.

  3. Good on you Todd, but I would have rolled over and tapped my wife on the shoulder and said, 'It's OK dear, I don't want sex or anything, it's just that Justin needs to be picked up from McDonalds. Oh, while you're there could you pick up a burger and some fries?' :D

  4. You absolutely did the right thing. Don't you love when they actually listen to you. That just shows he's making good decisions based on good parenting.

  5. lol ... I didn't think of that ... but even with me getting up, since I paid for his taxi ride home, the least the boy could have done was brought me a milkshake or something :-)

  6. Yeah, kids these days just aren't as considerate as they could be, especially considering all the love, time, money and heartache we put into making sure they grow up right.


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